Tom Brady Says NFL Is Full Of 'Mediocrity' Now That He Isn't In It

Tom Brady sounded like a crotchety old-timer in an interview Monday, griping that “there’s a lot of mediocrity in today’s NFL.” (Watch the clip below.)

The quarterback great just retired in February after winning 7 Super Bowls in 23 seasons.

“I don’t see the excellence that I saw in the past,” Brady said on “The Stephen A. Smith Show.”

“I think the coaching isn’t as good as it was,” he added. “I don’t think the development of young players is as good as it was.”

Brady said the league is trying too hard to regulate safety and that teams should be teaching more fundamentals to avoid injury

“Offensive players need to protect themselves,” Brady said. “It’s not up to a defensive player to protect an offensive player. A defensive player needs to protect himself. ... I think a lot of the way that the rules have come into play have allowed this ― you can essentially play carefree and then if anyone hits you hard, there’s a penalty,” he said.

Brady said players are as athletic as ever but not as ready for the pro game.

“When I see these different players come in, they’re not quite as prepared as they were, and I think the game has shown that over the last 12 to 13 years,” he said, per ESPN. “I think things have slipped a little bit.”

Here’s the full interview. Fast-forward to 19:00 for Brady’s criticism of the league: